In 1975, Steven Spielberg simultaneously gave birth to the summer blockbuster and put an end to night swimming everywhere with the release of Jaws. To remind everyone it’s still not safe to go in the water, Fathom Events just announced they're partnering with Turner Classic Movies and Universal Pictures to re-release the film in theaters later this month in celebration of its 40th anniversary.
And so we're following suit with our own tribute to the horror classic: a list of every attack scene, ranked from least to most terrifying, and beautifully illustrated through the art of the GIF.
8. These Two Night Fishermen
It’s easy to forget these two idiots trying to catch an apex predator with an old rump roast. They also managed to break rule number one of shark fishing: stay out of the damn water. While both these guys survived the attack, whoever owns this dock was probably pretty bummed.
7. Fisherman Ben Gardner...'s Head
Proving even when the shark’s not around, it's a dumb idea to go in the water. While the attack itself takes place off-screen, if it makes your body attack your underwear, it gets to be on the list. Richard Dreyfuss really shows his acting chops by perfectly capturing the “a piece of seaweed just brushed against my leg” face.
6. This Dude in a Rowboat
You can’t accuse this movie of holding back on the gore. This scene was the first time we got a decent look at the shark, and although the performances and direction are pretty scary, the fake shark looks... well, like a fake shark. Why they didn’t just use a fancy computer generated 3D model and motion capture technology is beyond us.
5. Chief Brody’s Final Showdown
A spot we hope to never find ourselves in: shimmying up the mast of a sinking boat, alone in open water with nothing but a pointy stick. To be fair, the guy did suggest a bigger boat. Luckily he comes up with a solution that would make even MacGyver red with envy.
4. Quint’s Demise
Probably the goriest scene in the movie. Quint was so eager to go down with his ship he beat it by about 10 minutes. Boating tip: when you see your captain start to gurgle out his own innards, it might be a good time to radio the Coast Guard for a tug back to shore.
3. The Ultimate Cage Match
An iconic moment in “white people making bad decisions in a horror movie” history, this is the most deserved attack ever. Idiot goes into cage, cage goes into water, shark is in the—hey where did the idiot go? But seriously, any scene that manages to make a 3,000-pound mechanical shark seemingly jump out of nowhere deserves a place near the top.
2. The Kintner Boy
A genuine shock for the 1975 audiences, one of the earliest attack scenes in the movie involves a kid getting eaten alive. While the effects still leave a lot to the imagination, this scene sets the precedent that not even children are safe, also the precedent that Steven Spielberg is a sick bastard.
1. Skinny Dipping Teen Girl
One of the most iconic movie openings of all time, this scene more than any other earns the spot of number one. Still terrifying even though we don’t see as much as a fin. Also worth noting: this is the worst way skinny dipping can possibly end that doesn't involve pointing and laughing.
Photos by Universal Pictures